Alabama State University & NPR Host live-streaming Event Honoring The 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

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NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There’ and Montgomery’s 60th anniversary Boycott events.

Tonight – Dec.1, at 6:30 p.m., National Public Radio’s (NPR) Michel Martin – weekend host of All Things Considered, – will be at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, (the only church where the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the senior pastor; and it was the epi-center of the Montgomery Bus ​Boycott) to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest and the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

On this evening, NPR and Alabama State University’s WVAS have partnered to create a live stage (live-streaming) conversation as part of the national touring series ‘NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There’ and Montgomery’s 60th anniversary Boycott events.


Martin will be joined on stage by Taylor Branch, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63; Ebony Howard, managing attorney for the Alabama office of the Southern Poverty Law Center who specializes in youth-based civil rights litigation; Alabama State University president Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, the first female president of her alma mater in its 148 year history (ASU was the site where a major part of the Boycott was organized and publicized, via flyers that were mimeographed there on the evening of Rosa Parks’ arrest); and, the Rev. Robert Graetz, who was Rosa Parks’ personal friend and the former pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church who (during the Boycott) was the only white minister to openly support it. Later, the KKK would bomb his Montgomery home twice.

With the people above and at this historic place, NPR and WVAS Public Radio will host a conversation with elders who took part in the movement and with young people who share their vision for the future.

The 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott offers a rare opportunity to both look back and strive forward.


Belle Monique, a Montgomery native and the daughter of jazz musician Samuel P. Williams, will perform along with Ron Handy, great-nephew of W.C. Handy, who was known as the “Father of the Blues.” The famous Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church Choir will also play an important role in the evening’s events.


The program is free and open to the public. NPR will provide a live audio stream and record the event for a featured segment on All Things Considered’s weekend broadcast. The discussion will continue online using the hashtag #busboycott60 and following @NPRMichel and @WVAS.


In collaboration with NPR member stations, Michel Martin: Going There is a live national events series guided by NPR’s award-winning host Michel Martin to tackle real issues affecting peoples’ lives. Martin connects people with different perspectives, histories and experiences, allowing them to share ideas, hopes, frustrations and solutions in sometimes difficult, often poignant, but always engaging conversations. During its first season, Martin held ‘Going There’ events in seven communities across the country, where she explored everything from the ethics of football, to education reform, to diversity in theater, to immigration. This year Martin will take the studio to the story in Des Moines, Montgomery, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Fort Collins and Chicago.

Each event in the ‘Going There’ series is live tweeted with an additional, invited group of commentators extending the conversation beyond the local audience. The public can follow and participate in these conversations on Twitter following @NPRMichel and @WVAS.

‘NPR Presents: Michel Martin Going There’ is made possible by Kresge Foundation, and by a collaboration between NPR and WVAS.


Alabama State University’s award-winning WVAS 90.7 FM is a member-supported public radio station licensed to and located on its campus in historic Montgomery, Alabama. It is managed by a full-time professional staff and operated by professional part-time support personnel. Broadcasting at 80,000 watts 24 hours a day, WVAS is the only full-time jazz station in the southern half of Alabama and it reaches 17 counties in the south central portion of the state. Its music, news, and public affairs programming is also heard globally via the workwide web courtesy of the station’s Internet stream ( <> ).

ASU’s news media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-451-5126 <tel:334-451-5126> /


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